The Nasarawa State Government has set the end of 2023 as target for the elimination of malaria in the State.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule disclosed this while flagging off the distribution of free insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNs) today (Monday February 14, 2022) at the palace of the Sangarin Shabu in Lafia.
According to Governor Sule, recent statistics has shown that the efforts by the State Government and its partners are yielding positive results in the fight against malaria hence his optimism that the disease can be eliminated in the State.
He said: “I am glad to state that our investment in this has yielded tremendous results as the State Malaria elimination programme has been living above board to ensure that the malaria burden in our State has been reduced from 13 percent to a single digit and eventual total elimination in no distant time.
“I am aware that the recent report reveals that the percentage of people sleeping inside bed nets in Nasarawa State has increased from the 11 percent that we had in 2013 to over 51 percent right now. This informed the commitment of government towards raising the percentage to at least 80 percent and then all the way to achieve our zero malaria status before the end of 2023 insha Allah.”
The Governor urged the citizens of Nasarawa State to take advantage of the 866 centres designated for the distribution of the nets across the State to collect and ensure they use the nets properly so as to justify the huge resources expended on the campaign.
He also called on religious and traditional leaders to support the government especially in the fight against malaria and other public health challenges being faced by the State.
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Perpetua Uhomoibhi, the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme who also represented the Honourable Minister for Health, commended the Nasarawa State Government for the efforts put into the fight against malaria.
She said there was need to put in even more effort as although it may seem malaria is a common disease, it is still a major killer especially of pregnant women and children under the age of five.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba Yahaya appreciated Governor Abdullahi Sule for always approving their proposals and making sure the Nasarawa State Government fulfilled its own financial obligation to the campaign.
He assured that the State Ministry of Health will continue to work tirelessly to see that efforts by the Abdullahi Sule administration to provide quality, adequate and affordable healthcare for the masses continues to yield positive results.
Speaking on behalf of the international partners, Mrs. Anne Ikwwg celebrated the efforts of the government of Nasarawa State as according to her, Governor Abdullahi Sule had fulfilled all the financial commitments made by him towards the campaign.
Highpoint of the event when the Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State Ministry for Health, Dr. Janet Angbazo, demonstrated how the insecticide treated net (ITN) can be used.
Governor Abdullahi Sule also handed over a mosquito net to one of the beneficiaries to symbolize the official flag-off of the distribution of nets.
In his vote of thanks, the Sangari of Shabu, His Royal Highness, Mahmud Umar Bwallah II expressed gratitude to the Nasarawa State Government for choosing his palace to flag of the distribution of nets in Nasarawa State.
He said it was even more remarkable that the flag-off was happening on a day celebrated the world over as a day of love, saying there was no greater way to show love than to provide a person with a means to live healthy.
He appealed to those who will directly benefit from the campaign to make sure they do not abuse the gesture by either using the nets wrongly or re-selling it.